images/pic.jpg

Helping you gain insight, tools and personal resources

My role as a licensed therapist and counselor is helping people of all ages and walks of life work through difficult problems and get relief, or find satisfying resolutions to frustrating conflicts. After working with children and adults in various life stages over the last 30 years, I have developed a therapeutic framework that I utilize in every therapy relationship.

Working together, I can help you to gain a better understanding of the issues and transitions of your life, and explore your own personal history, and express your true self. Through this process, you will discover new tools and restorative, personal resources that you can tap into, so that you can move forward to reach your goals.

About Lida Strong, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Santa Cruz Therapist

1983 - Present: Psychotherapy Practice

Private practice with adults and children, concentrating on individual, family, group and couples therapy. I work with a range of challenges including: anxiety, depression, life adjustment reaction, sexual abuse, divorce, special needs children, chronic illness, relationship issues, parent-child problems, alcoholic families, and post-traumatic stress. I provide clinical consultation and training to other mental health professionals.

Services to adults include individual therapy, couples and marital counseling, pre-marital counseling, family therapy, and family of origin work.

Services to children include individual therapy, child assessment, consultation with schools, family therapy, and consultation with parents, and art and sandplay therapy in a full playroom setting. In addition to running elementary school groups for at risk children, I also held poetry groups for children in the first through fifth grades and high school. These groups emphasized exploring feelings, finding expressive language in our own voice, writing about daily life and difficult experiences, and for older students, exploring identity issues.

 

1981-1984: Coordinator of Child, Youth, and Family Services, San Benito County Mental Health Services, Hollister, CA

Provided direct services consisting of crisis intervention, evaluation, individual adult, child, group and family therapy on an out-patient basis. Provided consultation regarding mental health services for children to schools, social services and other agencies. Organized and ran school-based groups for high-risk elementary age children. Functioned as a liaison with the State Department of Mental Health Services regarding legal, financial and therapeutic aspects of children's illnesses.

1981: Psychiatric Social Worker, San Benito County Mental Health Services

Provided direct services consisting of crisis intervention, evaluation, individual adult, child, group and family therapy on an out-patient basis. Provided consultation regarding mental health services for children to schools, social services and other agencies. Organized and ran school-based groups for high-risk elementary age children. Functioned as a liaison with the State Department of Mental Health Services regarding legal, financial and therapeutic aspects of children's illnesses.

1980-1981: Psychiatric Social Worker, San Benito County Mental Health Services

Provided individual adult, child, group, couples, and family therapy on an outpatient basis. Provided consultation with school districts regarding high risk students.

1980-1981: Psychiatric Social Worker, Santa Cruz County Mental Health Services

Provided individual adult and group therapy in an outpatient setting.

1979-1980: Therapeutic Team Leader, Rehabilitation Mental Health Services, Sub-Acute Residential Treatment Program, Santa Cruz, CA

Provided individual, group and family therapy to severely disturbed adults in a residential treatment program. Provided case management, with focus on building independent life skills, and discharge planning.

Memberships

National Association of Social Work
American Art Therapy Association


Specialized training

I have received specialized training in areas including post traumatic stress, mindfulness meditation, evidence-based psychotherapy methods in child therapy, child assessment techniques, play and art therapy, adoption, and creativity.


Adoption:

I have received training in open adoptions, late adoptions, attachment issues and disorders, and for parents, making your child's life book (adoption story).

Creativity:

I work with the creative process and the struggle with creative blocks. The blocks encountered in the creative process are similar to the blocks associated with trauma. A vigorous therapy that addresses understanding early wounds can illuminate and free blocked and conflicted areas of inner life - the source of creativity. I also continue to develop my own art skills by participating in ongoing studio art classes, which inform my understanding of the creative process.

Sandplay therapy

Training in sandplay therapy includes work with Dora Kalff, the originator of sandplay therapy, and supervision with June Matthews, LCSW, Jungian Analyst.

Art therapy

In addition to other training, I have received training from a local dollmaker to develop a dollmaking and puppet project for children.


Education

BA in Psychology from UCSC 1975, and MSW with honors from San Jose State University 1979



At my Santa Cruz office, conveniently located between downtown Santa Cruz and the Seabright area, I offer couples therapy and individual and family counseling and therapy. I also specialize in child therapy, including art and play therapy

Please call 831-423-7027 to schedule an appointment or discuss your specific needs.


The images on this site are from "The Lost Star" children's book I am currently writing, and were taken by Michael Strong.

  • hand